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Luv PARADE vs H.U.G at Akabane ReNY alpha

14/01/2023 2023-01-14 07:00:00 JaME Author: AMAZE, Jasy Copyeditor: Ruchesko

Luv PARADE vs H.U.G at Akabane ReNY alpha

On December 17th, 2022 session bands H.U.G and Luv PARADE gave fans an early Christmas present with the two-man live show "Luv PARADE vs H.U.G".


© Mai Okamoto(ODD JOB LTD.)
After the DEVIL'S PARTY events in June and September, it didn't take long for D'ESPAIRSRAY-affiliated session bands Luv PARADE and H.U.G (short for Hyper Undead Genius) to meet again on stage. This time, it was for the two-man live Luv PARADE vs H.U.G at Akabane ReNY alpha on December 17th, 2022.

First to perform was H.U.G, led by guitarist Karyu with HOLLOWGRAM's ryo on vocals and Yokoyama Kazutoshi as manipulator. The trio had two supporting members, FANTASISTA bassist NAOKI and Angelo drummer TAKEO. They kicked off their set with DON'T DOUBT, a new song driven by heavy guitar riffs. As usual, Yokoyama made the song even more interesting with well-chosen electronic elements. The next song was already familiar to fans: DROP. Bassist NAOKI joined ryo at the front of the stage a couple times, playing back-to-back as he gave fans a wide, happy smile. The audience was very energetic, headbanging during the C-part of DROP.

The third song, -OKI-, was one of the highlights of H.U.G's set. Beginning with a thrilling intro, the song boasts a catchy rhythm that makes standing still all but impossible when listening to it. ryo made beautiful use of his wide vocal range. The goth rock vibes were juxtaposed with projections of stained-glass windows, like those usually seen in churches, on the venue's screens. Next came a cover of the classic D'ESPAIRSRAY song Marry of the blood. ryo managed to improve on his performance at DEVIL'S PARTY vol. 2. Karyu played his old white guitar model, which had D'ESPAIRSRAY written by its neck. A cover of the electronic and energetic Flash dancers by TAG followed.

At this point of the set, the band members were introduced and gave a short MC. ryo announced H.U.G's first one-man live SHOWCASE01, which will take place at Spotify O-WEST on March 24th, and introduced a new song, LOVE THAT NEVER ENDS. He told fans how the song had been inspired by the current state of the world. It's said to be a love song for those who have no escape. He reminded the fans that wars are always a result of people’s actions, so he encouraged the audience to keep love in everybody's hearts. LOVE THAT NEVER ENDS is a melodic yet diverse ballad, with electronic elements, nice guitar work and some roars from ryo at the end. The screens showed videos of a battlefield together with song’s lyrics.

After this downer moment, it was time to rock out again with HUG. During the song, Karyu and NAOKI switched places. ryo gave good fan service, kneeling in front of Karyu to serenade him. Then, not for the first time during H.U.G's set, Yokoyama ran into some technical difficulties. The other members kept the audience entertained with some improvisation while the issues were resolved, and the last song HEART got underway. Karyu squatted at the edge of the stage and got playful with the camera, sticking his tongue out at viewers of the live stream. HEART ultimately gave each member a chance to show off their talents, making it the perfect end to H.U.G's set.

Half an hour after the curtain fell on H.U.G, cover session band Luv PARADE took the stage with TSUKASA on drums, ZERO on bass, Karyuon guitar and TAKA from defspiral as the guest vocalist. The members wore dark costumes accented with a few black-feathered accessories; in TAKA's case, a black lace eye bandage and feather boa. ZERO and TSUKASA encouraged the audience to clap during their entrance, after which they began with a cover of Billie Eilish's hit BAD GUY. It wasn't a complete surprise, as Karyu is a self-professed Eilish fan. Shortly before the song's end, TAKA dropped his eye bandage and boa. Toxic by Britney Spears followed.

The fired-up audience got a short break in the form of an MC, but the action soon got going again with Lady Gaga's Poker Face, during which the audience jumped and clapped with abandon. When the first notes of DEVILS' PARADEsounded, the audience went wild, their love of D'ESPAIRSRAY still burning bright after all these years. During the song, Karyu leaned his head against a wall and shook it from side to side. Meanwhile, ZERO jumped around in circles. After a powerful rendition of Björk's Hyper Ballad, a longer MC followed which brought some interesting announcements.

In March 2023, Luv PARADE will head out on their first three-date one-man tour, Luv PARADE Tour PANDEMONIUM. The news was applauded to the rafters as each member shared his thoughts about the upcoming one-man shows. Then, fans were commanded to dance, jump and clap along to LOVE IS DEAD. Later, during the last chords of MIRROR, Karyu threw his plectrum away, grabbed his microphone and scraped it along the strings of his guitar. Exhausted but clearly happy, Luv PARADE left the stage.

The clapping for an encore subsided as the lights came on again and a stir of applause welcomed the members back onstage. ZERO spoke again about Luv PARADE Tour PANDEMONIUM, asking who would be going date-by-date. Fans raised their hands again and again. Elsewhere, Karyu expressed his feelings on the one-man lives of H.U.G and Luv PARADE, promising to handle the pressure of having to deliver more songs for both bands. The encore finally got started with another premiere: their first performance of Avril Lavigne's Sk8er Boi. As in the main set, the band members again showed off their playful side.

In another MC, ryo and Yokoyama returned with a birthday cake and serenaded Karyu, whose birthday was December 7th, with a nice little birthday song. Even this moment ran into technical difficulties: the cake's candles couldn't be lit with the lighter, so in the end, the guitarist could only pretend to blow out the candles. Even so, he was visibly touched. For the grand finale, ryo and TAKA both sang DEATH POINT and the audience fired itself up for the last time that evening.

So, thinking back to the show's title Luv PARADE vs H.U.G, was there a clear winner?

Well, as both bands possess their individual charms and unique styles in music and performance, there can be no clear winner. The audiences at the venue and on the live stream were captivated by both bands. Even the support members fit so well into the line-ups that it was hard not to think of them as members, rather than as merely guests. It will be very interesting to see what roads H.U.G and Luv PARADE take (and what other Western pop hits Luv PARADE will choose to cover) in the future.

Set list

H.U.G

01. DON'T DOUBT
02. DROP
03. -OKI-
04. Marry of the blood (D'ESPAIRSRAY)
05. Flash dancers (TAG)
06. LOVE THAT NEVER ENDS
07. HUG
08. HEART

Luv PARADE

01. BAD GUY (Billie Eilish)
02. Toxic (Britney Spears)
03. Poker Face (Lady Gaga)
04. DEVILS' PARADE (D'ESPAIRSRAY)
05. Hyper Ballad (Björk)
06. LOVE IS DEAD ( D'ESPAIRSRAY)
07. BITE THE BULLET (the Underneath)
08. MIRROR (D'ESPAIRSRAY)

Encore

01. Sk8er Boi (Avril Lavigne)
02. DEATH POINT (D'ESPAIRSRAY)

A live video for H.U.G's song HEART and live footage of Luv PARADE's cover of björk's HyperBallad from DEVIL'S PARTY vol. 2 can be viewed below.


Gallery

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Date Event Location
  
17/12/20222022-12-17
Live Stream
H.U.G, Luv PARADE
Akabane ReNY alpha
Tokyo
Japan

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